After taking a week to regroup and build up our strength again it was time to get back on the trail of Wolverine and the anti-matter bomb. For details of the first phase of our mission check out Your Mission – Breaking the 34 day slump.
Not managing to reach our final objective last time I took the opportunity during the week to seek assistance from our contact at the Special Intelligence Services otherwise known as the CO. I received a response via email the very next day reassuring me that we were in the right area and that we had interpreted the instructions correctly but that we had taken a minor wrong turn which had led us to a place that whilst it looked like it fitted the description was actually not our final target. I suspect that this other location was a decoy put in place by the muggleovians to throw us off the scent.
Mindful that time was ticking away and that the safety of the planet lay in our hands, we made plans to get back on the trail as soon as we could… the next free day we had… when the weather was ok… a week later.
We parked at the same place we did the first time and decided to lay low for a while to check that we had not been followed. So as not to waste valuable time in the field later on… we had a sandwich and a slice of cake (yes, ginger cake!). On the drive over we had noticed that the local law enforcement were questioning some shady looking types at the side of the road who looked like they were in possession of dirt bikes. In light of our near miss with the dirt biking Muggleovians on our last outing this gave us the confidence boost we needed to make a second attempt at finding the next clue.
We left the car and followed the footpath towards the coordinates we had acquired at the last stage. Despite the fact that there had been little or no rain in the last week there were still some large patches of muddy ground that needed to be negotiated but thankfully there was no roar of engines this time and we were alone as we made our way to GZ. Having been here already we knew the quickest way to get to the starting cords and we were almost there when we heard a distant growl of two dirt bikes. Bugger, had they found us again?
We pressed on and soon we were at the location where Wolverine had taken his last satellite fix. All we had to do now was reverse his instructions on how he got there to find our next clue. We took much more care this time, counting paces and checking the compass at regular intervals to make sure we were going in the right direction. After about 5 minutes we found the point at which he turned and so we reversed his action and headed off to the west for another 90 paces or so. This took us through a massive mud patch and whilst on the one hand meant it was tough going, on the other hand it meant we knew we were on the right path as Wolverine had mentioned “running through the mud” in his diary entry.
As Shar and I were just struggling through the last of the mud patch, Sam called out from about 20 metres up ahead that he had found the next clue. Checking that we had not been spotted by the bikers who had thankfully lost our scent and were nowhere to be seen or heard, we made our way to meet Sam so we could find out where we had to go next.
Inside the container was a diary entry with another set of instructions and coordinates. At the top of the page was also one of the 4 code number sequences we would need to diffuse the bomb, if we ever found it. It was smiles all round but we tried not to make too much noise as we were aware that the trees could be full of muggleovians just waiting for us to make a mistake and reveal our position.
Sharlene loaded the coordinates into her GPS and discovered that our next location would take us some 12km away to a very picturesque part of the country located on the border of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire not too far from Tring. It took only a short discussion amongst the team to determine that we all wanted to head to this new location straight away and carry on our mission so we made our way back to the car as quick as we could.
A 25 minute drive later that took us from Bedfordshire through Hertfordshire and into Buckinghamshire and we were pulling up in a car park that nestled between hills in some of the most idyllic British Countryside we had ever seen. Consulting the new diary entry we made our way from the car onto a track that led right up one of the steep hills to a ridge that overlooked the surrounding countryside. There were Muggleovians everywhere but they were trying to maintain their own cover by pretending to have picnics or just sitting staring at the view.
We retraced Wolverine’s steps along the ridge and down and up more hills in search of his next clue position. His instructions were a little vague and at one point despite Sam suggesting we went one way, the adults who know everything insisted that it wouldn’t be that way. I am sure you can guess what is coming next. It was about 5 minutes later that both Shar and I realised that we had gone the wrong way and that Sam had been right. There was only a small amount of gloating on his part which we were grateful for and we backtracked and took the right path this time down into a valley where we soon found our next clue location. But Wolverine had been tricky here yet again. On the clue item which was a tree there was some letters carved and in conjunction with a complicated formula in the diary entry we had to transpose those letters into coordinates that would take us to yet another location. We set to work quickly and after only 10 minutes and a small amount of confusion, frustration, raised voices and sulking we had the new numbers in the phone and were relieved to find that this next site was only around 250 metres away.
It might have been only 250 metres but about 150 of those involved some tricky terrain. A steep bank that was littered with trees and bushes led us deep into a wood where the level of disturbed undergrowth told us that very few people ever came here. Locating the correct hide was tricky considering the environment but just when we were about to give up, yet again it was Sam that shouted out that he could see the container. Excitement levels shot up and after some very careful bending and stretching we managed to retrieve it from the grip of the nettles and brambles.
Our little team was tired and weary now and so when a sheet of Morse code was pulled out of the container we all knew that this would be the end of our mission for today. We would have to return to headquarters to decipher this one and so we battled our way back down through the trees to the path. Our route took us back the way we had come which was handy as Sam had mislaid his Super Stick at the tree where we had deciphered the final coordinates and we were all relieved to find it there waiting for us on our return. It was a short, if somewhat, hilly and tiring, walk back to the car where we all collapsed happy in the knowledge that yet again we were doing our bit to save the planet.